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Public Health


Ernest Ekong


Pregnancy outcomes have improved tremendously in developed countries. Notwithstanding, it is still a huge challenge in developing countries, especially Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2015 in Nigeria, about 145 women died daily from pregnancy-related causes. Similarly, nearly 2,300 children under 5 years were lost in the same year. Nigeria consistently underperformed in some of the critical pregnancy indicators such as maternal and neonatal mortality, second worst only to India in the world. Studies on poor pregnancy outcomes are scarce in Nigeria. The purpose of this quantitative, retrospective cross-sectional study was to use local evidence to ascertain the risk factors that predict poor pregnancy outcomes for women of childbearing age (15-49 years old) in Nigeria. The theoretical framework for this study was the social cognitive theory. Secondary data from 400 pregnant women from Island Maternity Hospital, Nigeria, was used for this study. Five central research questions were analyzed through univariate and multiple logistic regressions. The results indicated moderate to strong statistically significant associations between outcomes of last pregnancy, gestational age at delivery, mode of delivery, and the timing of antenatal care booking with maternal mortality, neonatal mortality, and low birth weight, even after controlling for other covariates. Findings from this study may foster positive social change by further enhancing the understanding of poor pregnancy outcomes, especially in Nigeria. It will help public health practitioners, policymakers, community leaders and other stakeholders to design strategies and interventions that will take advantage of cultural and religious norms and educational status of women of childbearing age in promoting reproductive health in Nigeria.

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